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Tagged out in the Yoop


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5 hours ago, OldSarge said:

Spin, I know what you mean about winter kill and dead deer all over the woods. A few years ago I was trout fishing on opening day and came across 16 dead deer just by the creek bed in about a mile stretch. They were in various stages of decomp and one even looked asleep. It was very sad and disturbing. 

 

Brad, Yes it is a lot of work to properly process a deer, and I had 2 x 200# bucks to cut up. I got them both done yesterday and am grinding burger and sausage today. My hands hurt a little from gripping slippery tissue and pulling cold meat, but there is satisfaction in a job well done. I usually do two or three a year myself, and help my sister or daughter do theirs since I have all the gear. Having help goes much more quickly but my wife was hunting yesterday so I was flying solo. Having a bunch of sharp knives helps. As one dulls I just grab another out of the block and keep cutting. Safer and less frustrating than using a dull knife. 
 

Auto-5, Sorry to hear about your friend’s heart issues. I hope he recovers soon. When I have a big pile of meat, like yesterday, I’m tempted to take to a processor, but up here there are only like two guys who do it. One of them is an ahole who I don’t trust, and the other one is so busy I don’t know how he gets through all the deer he has there. I’ve had bad experiences with processors who mixed trim meat with other hunters deer until they had a batch big enough to make burger or sausage. I take good care of my meat but have seen some hanging at the butcher shop that was starting to turn green and rot because the guy who shot it didn’t clean it properly or spent two weeks at camp before taking his deer to his home butcher. I don’t want that meat contaminating mine.  I’m also pretty picky about tallow and silver skin removal. I’ve had other people’s deer that tasted like crayons. I guess if I was cutting on the kitchen table and using the good Tupperware and kitchen sink maybe my wife wouldn’t appreciate that. That’s why I have the dedicated implements and do them away from the main part of the house.  I wouldn’t mind taking some meat to a good sausage smoker guy if I knew one though. All my sausage is seasoned and frozen. 


Yes  I had a couple of incidents with guys like you describe early on but for the past many years I use a local Amish fellow that does your deer separate from others w/o co-mingling the meat and that’s proven fairly satisfactory. 

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WI Outdoor Nut
On 11/22/2020 at 7:03 AM, OldSarge said:

Spin, I know what you mean about winter kill and dead deer all over the woods. A few years ago I was trout fishing on opening day and came across 16 dead deer just by the creek bed in about a mile stretch. They were in various stages of decomp and one even looked asleep. It was very sad and disturbing. 

 

That sounds like EHD.  Do you have that in your area?

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No EHD. It was in the deer yards and was a particularly bitter winter. The deer had no browse and were eating the bark off dead and fallen trees to try to stay alive. Many didn’t make it and starved that winter. It’s a big reason why the western end of the UP is a buck only zone right now. Trying to recover from several bad winters back to back and over predation by wolves and coyotes. The melting snow just uncovered the deer along the creek I was fishing, but there were hundreds of dead deer scattered through the woods. Thankfully the herd is resilient and has made a good comeback, although not quite up to where it was a few years ago. 

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WI Outdoor Nut
3 hours ago, OldSarge said:

No EHD. It was in the deer yards and was a particularly bitter winter. The deer had no browse and were eating the bark off dead and fallen trees to try to stay alive. Many didn’t make it and starved that winter. It’s a big reason why the western end of the UP is a buck only zone right now. Trying to recover from several bad winters back to back and over predation by wolves and coyotes. The melting snow just uncovered the deer along the creek I was fishing, but there were hundreds of dead deer scattered through the woods. Thankfully the herd is resilient and has made a good comeback, although not quite up to where it was a few years ago. 

Yup, I hear ya.  And know about how hard the winters can be.  I took this photo going back a few years ago near south range.  To say there was deep snow that year is an understatement.  

2014-3-27 South Range Snow.jpg

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Ok, I just had to post this pic. The young man below is a good friend of mine in his mid twenties. He is a hunting machine. Guides out west, runs bear hounds in the UP, just lives in the woods. He came across these two deer earlier in the year so he knew their home territory. Once we got a little tracking snow, he walked them down. The second one he tracked eight miles before getting his shot. Kid is my hero. I hired him at age 16 as a general laborer when I built my house in 2011. He did the work of two grown men then. He is now also tagged out in the Yoop. 

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On 11/21/2020 at 10:35 PM, OldSarge said:

Got the butcher shop set up in the man cave in the basement. I have several stainless rectangular pans and bowls that I do all my processing in. My knives are mostly Chicago cutlery cast offs that I found at rummage sales and auctions. Food Saver vacuum sealer, and Cabelas heavy duty grinder. When I’m done, the implements all get washed in the double size garden sink and stored in a large tote on top of the “meat fridge” in the basement. I try to keep everything as clean and cold as possible during the processing of game. Anyway, I thought it might be of interest to some. 

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Very nice! 

 I always cut up our deer ourselves. I'm nothing fancy about it other than keep it clean and any cuts that don't resemble a steak and roast goes into ice cream pals that I freeze and then take to a german sausage house and have landjagers and sausage made in the spring time. 

The doe my son just shot a couple days ago I didn't feel like cutting it up so took it to a well established butcher that we get beef from and am having them cut it up. It's a weird feeling dropping off the deer and seeing the amount of deer they had piled up waiting to be skinned and hung. 

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I've gotten lazy in my old age.  Back when I had no money and no one to take a deer to I'd hang it in the back yard and then start cutting it up.  Learning to take apart a hind leg and cut it into the various different cuts (Rump Roast, eye of round, etc etc.) was interesting indeed.  Scrap pieces were made into burger and ground in one of the old hand crank grinders.  We would add bacon fat in the right amounts to do a 85 % lean.  Everything put in freezer paper.  Now we field dress them and haul them about 5 miles to a processor who does everything for $65 a deer.  Just seemed like it was worth it.  The only thing I often wondered is whether I'm getting my deer back or someone else's.   One good thing about doing it the new way is the neighbors don't give me the stink eye any more.  I think a lot of their kids thought I was that Bambi killer dude. 

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WPG Gizmo

A friend of mine was a Butcher at a local store plus he had his own shop set up in a old barn, large walk in cooler for hanging the skinned animals, cold cutting room the whole shebang.  From the start of deer season in Sept till the end of the year he was flat out every day plus he had a crew of 4 other people helping him.  On average there were 50+ deer in various stages of processing daily not to include the occasional Moose and the farm animals he did.  

 

You brought your deer to him and left it in the pile of other deer from that day waiting to get processed, you filled out the paperwork telling him how you wanted it cut and serving sizes you wanted plus anything else you wanted done.  In about a weeks time you would get a call that your deer was ready it was all neatly packaged and flash frozen. 

 

He up and gave it up a few years ago the work was literally killing him between working his regular job and doing his side business it was a shame to see him go he did great work for a reasonable price.

 

We started cutting our own but when you live in a residential area and everyone can see what your doing to the poor deer you have some interesting conversations.

 

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